TITLE: "C is for Cooking"

TITLE: "C is for Cooking"

AUTHOR: Bridget Frawley (Scarecro9@aol.com)

DISCLAIMER: The characters are the property of Viacom and Spelling/Goldberg Productions. No copyright infringement is intended. It is meant for enjoyment purposes. I retain the rights to the plot and not the characters.

Jill couldn't believe that she and Mike had been married for a little over a month already. Where had the time gone? She glanced at her wedding ring and smiled, never imagining that she could ever be this happy.

Mike had been temporarily assigned to the Aviation Unit because they were short-handed. He'd been boning up on the new rules and regulations, as well as tutoring some of the newer pilots in how to fly the department choppers. As a result he'd been putting in massive overtime and he was NOT happy. She'd been busy with her nursing classes so she hadn't minded too much. At least she got this week off for Spring Break.

She felt terrible that he'd been so frustrated, so she decided to do something special by fixing him a home cooked meal. She'd bought a cook book when they'd gotten married but hadn't had a chance to use it, what with her studies and all. Now seemed the perfect time. She picked it up from the counter and started paging through, stopping at one page. 'Roast chicken.' That didn't sound too difficult. She grinned, grabbed a pen and paper and jotted down what she needed from the supermarket.

"Hey, babe," Mike called wearily, entering their apartment several hours later. He stopped and glanced around in surprise.

The lights were dimmed, the table was set with their best dishes and the candles were lit. There was a bottle of wine chilling on the table, as well as two bowls of salad. He heard the faint sounds of romantic music playing in the background.

"Hi," Jill greeted shyly from the kitchen, wearing a long dress that she'd bought just for this occasion.

"Hi," he replied, taking her in his arms and kissing her. "What's all this?"

"Well, you've been working so hard and I know you're tired of takeout, so I wanted to fix you a nice dinner. I hope you like it."

"I'm sure I will," he affirmed throatily, nibbling her ear.

She relaxed into his embrace for a few seconds, then pulled away slightly. "Hey, aren't you hungry?"

"Uh-huh," he agreed, nibbling her neck and working his way downwards.

"Mike," she sighed, feeling her body start to respond to his overtures.

"Yeah," he whispered, pulling her close again.

"Come on. This is my first dinner and I want you to enjoy it."

"I am," he assured her fervently from her shoulder.

She pushed him towards the chair. "Sit. Relax. I'll be right back."

"Boy, you sure know how to spoil a guy's fun," he groused good naturedly.

"If you're good you'll see what's for dessert," she promised, grinning. She walked into the kitchen.

"Oh, yeah?" he asked eagerly. "You need any help in there?"

"I'm fine," she called. "You just relax. I want this to be perfect."

"Okay," he agreed, pouring two glasses of wine and setting them down at their respective places. "What'd you make, anyway?"

"Mashed potatoes and roast chicken," she answered, coming back into the room with a bowl and placing it on the table. "I'll be right back with the chicken." She went back into the other room.

Mike scooped some stuff from the bowl and put it on their plates, noticing it run slightly. "Hey, is this creamed corn or creamed spinach?"

"They're mashed potatoes," she answered in a slightly subdued voice, coming back in with the platter of chicken.

"Oh." He sat down and saw the disappointed look in her eyes. He took the platter from her and placed it in the center of the table. "The chicken looks great!" he said enthusiastically.

"Thank you, kind sir," she smiled, spirits buoyed again. At least something worked right tonight. "Would you care to carve?"

"It would be my pleasure, madam." He took the knife and started carving eagerly. The knife made it about half way before it wouldn't cut any further. "What the – ?" He put his strength into it but it wouldn't budge. He studied it closely, trying to figure out what was wrong.

"What's the matter?" she asked in confusion.

"How long did you defrost this before you cooked it?"

"What?"

"How long did you…"

Her eyes filled with tears and she bolted from the room, running into their bedroom, throwing herself on the bed and crying quietly.

Mike came in after a few seconds and sat beside her, placing a hand on her shoulder. "It's okay, baby."

She looked up at him and shook her head. "I wanted to surprise you."

"Well, you sure did do that," he chuckled.

Her face crumpled and she pulled away from him, burying her face in the pillow and crying harder.

"I'm sorry," he apologized, pulling her into his arms.

"I tried. I really did," she wept, burying her face in his shoulder.

"I know you did," he said guiltily.

"I've never cooked before," she admitted in embarrassment. "I followed the instructions in the cook book, but I didn't see anything about making sure the chicken was defrosted first. I just wanted tonight to be special." She started crying again. "What kind of wife am I if I can't cook?"

"Hey, I didn't marry you for your cooking."

She glanced up at him through her tears.

"Jill, you're the best wife a guy could have."

"I love you," she sniffled, wiping her eyes.

"I hope so, because you're stuck with me," he teased, kissing her tenderly. "Just promise me that you won't ever make creamed chipped beef on toast, okay?"

"I promise," she smiled.

"I don't know about you but I'm starving. Pizza sound good to you?"

"Sounds great. I'm just going to wash my face." She got to her feet, started walking to the bathroom, then paused and looked at him. "Mike?"

"Yeah?"

"There's still dessert later," she promised with twinkling eyes.

"All right!" he exclaimed enthusiastically.